This year ‘Im a celebrity, Get me Out of Here’, has been hosted at a magnificent derelict castle in Wales named Gwrych Castle, that over the years as been extremely neglected and barely funded to help maintain it.
Normally the producers of ‘Im a celebrity’ send their contestants out to Australia, but because of COVID restrictions they have had to remain here in the UK this year. Potentially, for Gwrych Castle, this could be hugely beneficial to the Castles future and the attention it will attract after the show is going to be shape its future for its now owners and trustees for the better.
Part of our History that could have been lost like many other beautiful and important structures could have just been saved by the show – Lets hope they decide to run with the idea for a few more years using such locations here in the UK for future shows.
History of Gwrych Castle
Gwrych Castle was built in bt Lloyd Hesketh Bamford Hesketh, the heir of the Lloyds of Gyrch, from c.1810.
The castle was then passed onto the Earls of Dundonald through marriage to the Bamford Hesketh hieress, Winifred.
During WW2, the castle was requisitioned as part of the operation Kinder transport. In 1946, the Dundonald family sold the castle, ending almost 1,000 years of ownership throughout the family.
In 1948, Leslie Salts purchased the castle and turned it into the Showplace of Wales for 20 Years.
In 1968, Salts sold the castle and it operated as a location for medieval entertainment venue, often hosting banquets, markets and jousting.
In 1990, a American property development company purchased the castle with plans to transform it into an opera centre and hotel – However, these plans never seem to materialise and sadly the castle was stripped and suffered at the hands of vandalism – which left it in a extreme decay.
In 1997, a trust called the Gwrych Castle Peservation Trust was formed and founder Mark Baker approached the absentee American Property developer and convinced him to sell the castle to Claytonn Hotels. Who had planned to turn the building into a luxury hotel. Plans for the hotel started but the plans and work was never completed. Again, the castle was sold to another property developer but nothing materalised and finally the castle was offered up for sale by auction.
With help and funding from the National Heritage Memorial and the Richard Broyd Charitable trust, the castle was purchased by the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, on behalf of Wales.
According to the Gwrych Castle website, the Countess Tower is ‘one of the most paranormally active areas’. The Tower is situated in the gardens, and is said to be haunted by the Countess herself.
In the Bakehouse, Chapel and coachhouse, people have reported being visited by the gamekeeper, household staff and a distressed maid.
It has also been reported that the Earl of Dundonald (husband of the Countess) as been spotted and his dark presence is said to stalked the grounds.
Reports while the show is being hosted!
Over the last week, there have been numerous reports in the papers that say that some crew members are refusing to work at night at the castle, after hearing ‘horrifying noises’ and fearing that they may see a apparition.
A ghostly figure was reportedly seen at the launch night of the ITV show.